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Robot Movies

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It's clear from the number of robot movies that we have a fascination with artificial intelligence, and kids in particular seem to love a good robot movie. If you have little (or big) robot fans in your house, here are a few movies that will spark their interest. The movies are listed in order of age recommendation from youngest to oldest.

1. The Backyardigans: Robot Repairman

The Backyardigans: Robot Repairman
Photo © PHE
The Backyardigans strap on their skates in this adorable double-length special set to roller disco music, and they have disco moves that would put John Travolta to shame. The imaginative friends sing songs like "Robots on a Rampage" as they race around town trying to figure out why all of the robots seem to be on the fritz. This movie is funny, clever and fun for kids, and adults will get a kick out of watching it too. (NR, Recommended for kids ages 2-6)

2. Sid the Science Kid: The Movie

Photo © NCircle Entertainment
The show Sid the Science Kid airs on PBS and is an educational series for preschoolers with a focus on science and exploration.

Sid the Science Kid: The Movie follows Sid and Gabriella on an exciting trip to The Super Ultimate Science Museum. They tour the museum going from one exciting scientific adventure to another with an amazing robot tour guide Bobbybot. But when their bot malfunctions, Sid and his friends have to work together to stop him before he destroys the museum. In addition to Bobbybot, there are several other silly robots who go about making mischief around the museum. (NR, Recommended for kids ages 2-6)

3. WALL-E (2008)

Wall-E
Photo © Disney/PIXAR. All Rights Reserved.
The little robot WALL-E has been compacting the trash on Earth for hundreds of years--long after the humans who trashed the planet in the first place left to live in their luxurious spaceship, and the other robots were turned off or ceased to function. Sadly, though, WALL-E has become lonely. That is, until one day when he finds something precious: a plant. That's when EVE, An Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator robot, comes on the scene. Together, the two go up in space for a grand adventure and help humankind rediscover their place in the universe. (Rated G, recommended for ages 4 and up)

4. Robots (2005)

Robots
Photo © 20th Century Fox
Rodney Copperbottom (voice of Ewan McGregor) decides to move to Robot City to follow his dream of becoming a great inventor in the movie Robots. Life in the big city isn't all that Rodney expected, however, and he meets many challenges and makes friends along the way. As Rodney fights a corporate giant and helps old broken down robots, he helps everyone realize that shiny and new isn't always best. This colorfully animated film is a wild ride around mechanical settings and will delight young robot fans. (Rated PG, recommended for ages 5 and up)
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5. The Iron Giant (1999)

The Iron Giant
Photo © Warner Home Video
During the Cold War Era, a huge mass of metal rockets to earth. The first to find what turns out to be an enormous robot is a young boy named Hogarth Hughes. Hogarth befriends the bot and tries to protect it from paranoid government entities seeking to destroy it. A few scenes may be scary or suspenseful for young children. Contains some mild language. (Rated PG, recommended for ages 8 and up)
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6. Star Wars

Star Wars
Photo © 20th Century Fox
R2-D2 and C-3PO are the quintessential robots and the the stuff kids' robot dreams are made of. C-3PO can talk and do any number of things that humans can do, and R2 is a wise little beeping bot carrying secret messages. These two provide comedic relief as well as essential backup in the battle between good and evil. Episodes IV, V, and VI came out in the late 70s/early 80s, and they are all rated PG with varying degrees of sci-fi action and violence. Episodes I-III were made after the year 2000 and Episode III is PG-13. So, an age recommendation for the whole saga is around 12 and up, but parents may find some of the movies to be appropriate for younger kids.
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7. Short Circuit (1986) and Short Circuit 2 (1988)

Short Circuit
Photo © Image Entertainment
Who doesn't remember the ever famous tagline, "Number five is alive!"? I remember watching Short Circuit when I was young, and we thought it was true greatness. How is it that it's so easy to forget all of that swearing and sexual references? These movies were landmark when they came out, and kids today will laugh at and appreciate the stories of the little robot who gets caught in an electrical storm and becomes very human like. However, try to find edited versions of the movies or make sure that your kids are old enough that you will not be bothered by the language and other content. (Both movies are rated PG, recommended for ages 12 and up)
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8. Real Steel (2011)

Real Steel Blu-ray
Photo © DreamWorks
Robot boxing is the super sport in this realistic slightly futuristic world in the movie Real Steel. A young boy who has lost his mother spends some time with the father he never knew, and the two bond over making a robot that may have a chance to win in the ring. The focus of the movie is on the changing relationship between the father and son, but the hard-hitting world of robot boxing and dazzling special effects, along with a stand-out rock soundtrack give the movie grit and edge. (Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 12+)

9. Transformers (2007)

Transformers
Photo © Paramount
Michael Bay took media based on the Hasbro toy line to a whole new level with a mega-action blockbuster movie that has everything a teenage guy would want. Well, except maybe a storyline. The movie has the larger than life Autobots vs. the evil Decepticons who are trying to take over. A young man named Sam gets caught up in all of this, along with his hot girlfriend. Basically the same story occurs in the sequels, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Now, there is a Transformers cartoon movie called The Transformers: The Movie; however, that title is now only available at a horrendous price. You can also get the cartoon series episodes on DVD if your kids want to see Transformers but are too young for the live-action movies. (Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 14-16 and up)
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